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Billings Police to Use Encrypted Radio Transmissions

May 23, 2014  | 

The Billings Police Department will no longer be broadcasting its radio transmissions between officers and from officers to dispatchers on frequencies that can be picked up by police scanners, reports the Billings Gazette.

The police bands on Friday will go from broadcasting clear speech to scrambled electronic tones that can only be deciphered by units programmed to unscramble the transmissions, said BPD Chief Rich St. John.

The $831,605 purchase of 453 new Tait 9400 radios — 303 for police and other department uses and 150 for firefighters — was approved unanimously by the City Council on Feb. 10, enabling officers to exclude curious ears from their transmissions.

"Everything coming out of dispatch is open, it’s just car-to-car chatter and car-back-to-dispatch chat is what’s encrypted," St. John said.

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

LLC @ 5/23/2014 12:13 PM

This is a good move and should be utilized by all LE agencies. I'm a firm believer that certain communications produced by LEO's becomes an issue of safety when it can be scanned. However, many citizen groups hide behind the belief that all police communications should be open to the public. A lot of lonely heart people in the world that get their excitement from listing to police scanners. These same people should know that many police communications include social security numbers, date of births, and home addresses of law abiding citizens by simply having the misfortune to be stopped during some LE encounter for a non-criminal matter. Of course, this type of info aids in identity theft. It happened a lot during my LE career. Experienced officers know how it happens.

Serpico @ 5/23/2014 1:50 PM

Americans who have woke up about a New World Order Police State, simply do not want Military Tech weaponized against Law Abiding Citizens. Or a Private Civilian Security Force that only answers to the POTUS, like Saddam Hussein's "Republican Guard". It's find to encrypt because of criminals. But what about the criminals that are Elected Officials? Who let Illegal Aliens break our laws and spit on the face of AMERICA? Obama/Bush ARE Enablers. Yet people like Cliven Bundy minding his own business is a criminal to them. The Sociopaths in control of Gov. get joy out of making other people's lives suffer! It's not Regular US Citizens creating an Iron Curtain. It's Obama & Co. and his NWO Puppet Masters. Blame the misguided and weak minded who elected him, not people who follow the rule of law or the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Citizens don't want to be serfs or slaves! But the ignorant ones don't mind shackles and chains! Molon Labe

TheRookie @ 5/26/2014 2:47 PM

Nothing new. Denver P.D. did this a long time ago.

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